About Me

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Here I am world! I'm a mother of 3, born and raised in a wonderful small town. Married to a man I met when I was 15 years old and vowed my future to 6 years later. We lead a pretty simple life. So, why create a blog? The short answer: I Love to Write. I always have. I love telling stories about my little family & the self-made sitcom that we reside in every day.

Need a more meaningful explanation? I don't shy away from revealing details about myself; especially if I think it can be helpful to others.--whether it is comic relief, a renewed sense of empowerment, or a reminder that everyone has a bad day. Social media has allowed me to document special memories, fleeting moments, disappointments and late night reflections; and with the tap of a button I can share it all with hundreds of my "closest friends". It was a pleasant surprise to discover that not only were people actually reading my posts but several of them appreciated the honesty behind them. Hence, a blog is born. Nothing fancy, simply chronicling my journey as I grow, screw up, try again & again, fall flat on my face...again, then get back up and keep on going while I laugh, cry & love.

Yes, I have a warm & mushy core. It is surrounded by several layers of lively, opinionated, Cajun, fun loving, country girl goodness and it's all sealed in tight with a generous coating of unadulterated madness. So please, stop by often, because seven out of ten voices residing in my brain promise that "we sure to pass a good time". 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Paleo "Un-Diet"

  • Tomorrow marks one week that my husband & I started our new Paleo lifestyle. We have not completely converted our kids yet, but we are getting closer. To say that this week has been a challenge would be an understatement. For anyone not familiar with a traditional Cajun diet, it basically revolves around rice, bread, butter, and oh yeah, more rice. Then, for good measure, just throw in all the decadence that goes into traditional delicacies like king cake, boudin, & cracklin. Corn was one of the only "vegetables" that my husband & children really enjoyed. As for my daughter & I, our world revolved around milk. We drank it with breakfast, lunch & dinner. We drank it during the day when we were thirsty, like many people drink water. That is how we were each accustomed to eating almost everyday since we were old enough to eat solid food. Now, imagine our conversion to a Paleo lifestyle (a.k.a. The Caveman Diet) in which we no longer partake in grains, dairy, soy & refined sugar.  I'll give you a moment to put together that mental picture...  ...  ...  EXACTLY!!! They considered this to be the worst form of torture. If we were holding on to any top secret classified government information, my boys would have been selling out their country to any foreign enemies faster that you can spell treason... or pizza. 
  •  This brings me to our one week Paleo-versary. I'm happy to report, it is becoming easier. There were no casualties and only minimal blood shed. We are already starting to notice positive effects: hubby has lost 4 pounds (damn him) & I've lost 3 ounces (maybe); BUT we both notice significantly less aches & pains from old injuries. Also, my kids seem a bit more chilled. I witnessed our teenager not only smile, but laugh, TWICE in a week. I thought I'd have better odds of having tea with Big Foot than get to see that in person for at least 4 more years. Great! They are beginning to realize that I may be on to something that will benefit all of us. 
  •  Even though none of us have felt like we were starving or being deprived, my husband & I would comment that we didn't really feel satiated either -- until tonight. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm still referring to food here. Due to my attendance at a late afternoon meeting and slim pickings in the fridge & pantry, my crew were left to fend for themselves until I returned from my post meeting grocery shopping expedition. The kids caved and ate sandwiches, even though my boys swore they would never eat the whole grain bread I swapped for their "white wheat" loaf. Exhausted & hungry, the parents in this house decided a lovely smoothie sounded like a perfect supper. Pinterest to the rescue! I searched for Paleo concoctions and right away pulled up an easy recipe for a tasty treat. I whipped up in our blender in no time & I think we chugged it down just as quickly. (For the record it was coconut milk, spinach, almond butter, frozen berries & a ripe mango. Delicious!) It was SO GOOD, that we decided we deserved seconds. After all, we were giving up our normal grilled steak/chicken/fish and roasted veggies for a damn drink. Sooo... VOILA! Lickety-split and pitcher #2 was ready to devour & we did just that. As I'm cleaning up the kitchen, I glance at the nutritional facts on the back of the coconut milk can. Calories = 140 / Total Fat = 14g / Total Carbs = 3g / Protein = 1g PER SERVING. Not too bad, right? My eyes scan back up to the top of the label: Servings Per Container: about 5. YES! FIVE!!! Allow me to do the math for you, that would be 700 Calories just for the can of coconut milk ALONE in just ONE of our TWO "batches".  I couldn't believe it. I start collecting all of the ingredients that went into our seemingly less-than-weight-wise-shakes. Here is what I discovered. By the time we emptied the contents of that second blender we had collectively consumed more than 1,410 Calories / 113 grams of Fat / 84 grams of Carbs / 20 grams of Protein. At least NOW we understood why our bellies felt so damn full. It was practically a Thanksgiving deja vu.
  • Now giggling uncontrollably, I report my findings to my partner in Paleolithic crime. He sits back, takes in the information for a minute and says, "Oh man! We are going to be the fattest cavemen ever... & THEY ate dinosaurs!" That began our laugh fest at our own expense. We wondered if it were still possible to have our garments made out of Wooly Mammoth skins because that would be the only thing large enough to cover our posteriors if we kept indulging in smoothies.  My husband then chimes, "I can't wait for someone to ask me what size I wear so I can tell them, 'SIZE CURTAIN'."  I am not certain if our dance with delirium was attributed to dairy/grain withdrawals or the endorphins released from a happy belly, but it sure was fun! Clearly, we still have a lot to learn on our journey to healthier dining.
  • "The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." ~ Thomas A Edison
  • "The spirit cannot endure the body when overfed, but, if underfed, the body cannot endure the spirit." ~ St. Frances de Sales

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Houston, we have a problem..."


  • For anyone that has checked into my blog over the last week or so, you probably read my big exciting announcement that I have purchased my own website name and I'm in the process of building that website. Yes, that is all still true. It is turning into a bigger endeavor than I imagined. (I'm one of those people that know more than the average bear, but I know just enough to be dangerous. Know what I mean?) I've created, help launch & help customize websites in the past using html & CSS codes so I felt confident that I could do it again for myself. Yeah... not so much. I was 98% done when I realized the only thing I couldn't configure was how to actually merge my existing blog with my beautiful site. Well, that wouldn't work. Also, the hosting company I chose did very little to help me find my "stats" regarding my viewing traffic, etc. Sooooo, with all of that said, I'm still working on it, but it appears that I currently am located in 2 locations (HEY, HEY! I'm a CHAIN!). You can find me at both: www.thecrowdednoggin.blogspot.com AND www.thecrowdednoggin.com. I'm working to get this resolved as quickly as possible so I can get back to writing. For the record, I do love creating. I even thought that I liked website designing... No. I've learned that I like website DECORATING. Big difference. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to leave me comments to tell me how much you wish I would blog way more often because you can't enough of the train wreck that my thoughts create! (OR, you can write to tell me that I'm doing a crappy job and I need to step it up or go away. Go ahead, light that match under my butt!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cupid's Near Death Experience

  • Ok, so I didn't almost KILL that frolicking chubby & winged marksman, but for most of February 14, I seriously wanted to slap the crap of that little bugger. The easiest way to describe my Valentine's Day this year is via a timeline, complete with pictures.
  • Valentine's Day Eve, I do believe is where I made my first & most crucial mistake. I jinxed myself by revealing my plans to the Facebook universe, hence making me feel accountable to people other than myself. Yep, I should have known to just keep my nose to the grindstone and my mouth shut until February 15. Alas, here is where the story begins:
      
  • Sweet gesture, n'est pas? I thought so. I just wish I could make myself understand that "going Big" isn't always necessary to get my point across. Just because I really wanted to demonstrate how grand my love & appreciation are, I didn't have to physically create something that would compare by its impressiveness. What was my plan? I wanted to capitalize on our view of the Atchafalaya River by setting up a night time picnic in our back yard. I know that sounds like a simple enough plan, but... I was going to set up a canopy, complete with strings of tiny lights, billowy fabrics, several mason jars hanging down all around us- some filled with candles & others with fresh flowers... you know, "magical".  Everyday for the 10 days prior I'd checked the forecast. It was going to be a clear day & night/Highs in the upper 60's/Lows in the mid 40's. I also knew that it was going to be a full moon (perfect, since we love to watch it reflect off of the water). I had my playlist ready with all of our favorite songs (old & new). I picked out an easy to create dessert. I'm admittedly not the greatest cook, so I scoped out the menus of local restaurants & called ahead to make sure the one I chose would in fact prepare my chosen meal, to go, since I knew it was going to be a busy night for them. My hubby is not a wine drinker, but he pretends to be on special occasions because he knows I love it & love the idea of sharing a bottle with him. This is why, I scoured the internet for a wine or champagne that even non-wine drinkers would enjoy. I spent Thursday night going over my carefully crafted road map of how I needed to assemble my vision. I even tried to give myself deadlines during the day so I could stay on task and complete it all with enough time to get all dolled up as if we were going out to dine. I really thought that I had covered all of my bases. I truly did... Then, I woke up Valentine's morning.
  • Even though I was anxious & excited to put my plan into action, I still found it difficult to make my body move as fast as my mind was telling it to. I'd stayed awake much too late the night before & it appeared that every inch of my physical being was now very pissed off. That was ok, nothing that extra cups of coffee couldn't fix. I dressed and headed outdoors to set up the canopy. The day's weather was not what I expected. It was overcast, a bit humid and windy. I checked the radar to confirm that my parade would not get rained on, then I rolled the carrying case to my chosen spot. This was a canopy that my husband had purchased about a year ago but had never been used. The fact that I've set up several canopies during my previous job combined with the large letters that spelled out QUICK SHADE on the bag were encouraging that this process would be QUICK. *Neg-a-tive!* There was absolutely NOTHING quick about setting up this evil contraption! The instructions were vague & even though I was doing EXACTLY as directed I made very little progress. The havoc being wrecked on my nerves at this point caused all sorts of not-so-nice thoughts to start running through my head. For example, 
  •   I struggled for longer than I should have allowed myself to, then opted to call my Mom & Dad. (Nothing like getting your parents on the phone to ask for assistance in putting together a romantic arena. I had no choice, my entire "design" revolved around this stupid structure.) Thankfully, they agreed to come to my rescue before heading out for the day with plans of their own. My parents, God bless them. They love me and will do what they can to help me when I need them; even when they may think that my ideas are outrageous, fool hearted or don't stand a chance in hell of working out the way I want them to, they will lend a hand. My mom smiled & tried to keep me upbeat since she could tell I was already starting to panic about being behind my own schedule. My dad grumbled & sighed much less than he would have if he had been setting up this beast of metal & fabric for his own gathering. I appreciated every bit of it. With their assistance, the canopy was completed. While extremely grateful, I was also increasingly concerned about the windy conditions. Not only did it appear that the foundation in this blueprint could be blown into the river at any moment, I could just imagine how the potential gail forces would effect that evening's set up.
  • Did I mention that I had my 2 year old daughter in tow during the entire set up process? Somehow, when I was mapping out the day's itinerary, I forgot that detail. I also failed to remember that I should schedule time to feed her, change her diapers, and oh yeah... time for her to be a typical 2 year old. This led to my first status update of the day:
  • My little sweetheart. She's a trooper and just LOVES to be helpful, as long as it's on her conditions. I finally did get clothing on that body of hers and we headed out to get the remainder of my supplies. I only had TWO stops to make and they were across the street from each other. With my list in hand, I knew I would have to shop as fast as possible to make up for lost time. We arrived at our first destination, a dollar store. (Hey, trust me, the best way to make my hubby's day is to spend as little money as possible.) I open the back door of my vehicle to find a tiny princess in a deep sleep. No problem, I'll just carry her, push the cart and shop with one hand, and I that's exactly what I did. I was starting to feel hopeful again as I loaded up my daughter and drove over to our second stop.  I was quickly able to find the original items on my list. By now, the princess was awake and informing me that she was hungry. (Oh yeah, I guess I should feed her.) I only had one thing left to buy and that was something not planned until that morning. I decided I needed to purchase a tarp or something to put around the perimeter of the canopy to help block the wind. Again, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and I don't exactly know my way around the hardware section. So as I cruised in that vicinity, I tried to multi-task: distracting my daughter from her hunger pangs and simultaneously calculating measurements and prices in my head. I eventually found what I needed and managed to get the heck out of there. 
  • Now running VERY behind, I get back home and with help from my new assistant, my daughter, I attempt to attach plastic sheeting around the canopy. I really wish I would have noticed the alert on my phone, reporting a Strong Wind Advisory in our area for the next 3 HOURS! Yes, that would have saved me a lot of time & teeth grinding. On the bright side, my little peanut learned how to follow more complex directions, how to mimic grunting sounds that depict utter frustration and she may or may not have been introduced to a new colorful word or two. My plans were rapidly going down in flames and my mental & emotional stability were questionable at best.
 
  •  Finally, I realized that I was no match for Mother Nature and I had to call the man of the hour himself to help me out with my contingency plan.
  •  "Plan B" involved a large camping tent that we've had for over a decade. I wasn't even sure of where it was stored, but if I had found it, I knew I would not be able to put it together on my own... especially now. (For the record, my original agenda had me getting dressed at this point so I could pick up our meal at 6:30 p.m., get it plated all nice & pretty and we would be enjoying our lovely diner by 7 p.m. Here it was 4 p.m., I had absolutely NOTHING completed. Hubby was just arriving at home with our boys. It was time to get all the kiddies packed and off to my in-laws for the night. While I did that, the hubster set up his "surprise" tent and chopped extra fire wood.) I checked the clock and suddenly it was 5:30 p.m.; I still was not finished setting everything up inside, neither my husband nor I had showered and he had to leave again to deposit our children with his family. I explained to him about the decadent meal I planned and we both decided that we should wait for another time to indulge... A later date when we could really sit down and enjoy it, because by now we were both starving, the kids had been fighting & moving at a snail's pace since they returned from school and I was "a bit" frazzled. So, pizza it would be! Great! I was okay with that. I even preferred using the tent over the canopy. It was a more intimate setting. (Oh yes, about 15 minutes after Marty started to set up the tent, the wind completely calmed down. Go figure!) Let's recap: My Guest of Honor has now set up the tent that I'm using to "surprise" him with, he's chopped the wood needed for the fire pit, he's dealing with the screaming kids while I finish getting everything together AND he's picking up our dinner, which will now be in a cardboard box. LOVELY! Then I was alone at home again, feeling determined to maintain as much of my original idea as possible. It was around the time that I decided against hanging mason jar candles from the ceiling (because the way this day was going, I had no doubt I was going to set everything ablaze)... this is when I remembered that I put the two bottles of "wine" in the freezer to help them chill faster. They should have been ok, right? They were only in there for 3 hours or so. With a sinking feeling, I rushed to the freezer door, opened it and found this:
  • Seriously? I thought alcohol wasn't supposed to freeze. Thankfully I'd also picked up his favorite beer & kept it out of the freezer. I called him up while I'm laughing hysterically. OF COURSE THE WINE BOTTLES EXPLODED! Why wouldn't they? He asked me to text him a picture of the crime scene and offered to stop at the store on the way home to buy more.
  • Finally, at 7 p.m. he is back home with pizza and more wine. He's still in his work clothes & I'm still decked out in yoga pants, a t-shirt & baseball cap. We decided to eat, have a couple glasses of wine then get cleaned up. He humored me by going inside the house so I could make sure to complete any little details that I still insisted upon. When he walked up to see the results of my planning & stress, he was sincerely taken back. He was so excited that he later posted this onto his facebook account: 
  •  I've heard many times, "All's well that ends well." So, I guess in the end, it was...all well? Seriously, all of that day's mishaps were worth it & made me realize how much I really do need him around. We make a great team and I'm only as strong as my counterpart. So what if my original idea of grandeur was scaled down. I managed to accomplish my goal, making my husband feel special. So what if we didn't get dressed up for a special occasion. Snuggling up next to a camp fire & star gazing in flannel pajamas is more our speed anyway. Fortunately for Cupid, we had an amazing evening, so that cherub lived to fly another day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Found A Rope... I Think

  • A couple of months ago (give or take a year, who knows) a Facebook friend posted a quote that resonates in my brain almost daily: "I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse." This is SO me. While I'd love to say that my chronic confusion is a product of my uber busy agenda... NOPE, it's mostly caused by the chaos that reigns supreme in that brain of mine. (Hence the title of this blog.) I'd bet money that if any horses are reading this, they are thanking their lucky stars that I don't own a ranch and they don't live on it. I'm guessing there would be a lot of ropes just lying around. All of that rambling just to preface the following: I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO WRITE A FULL POST IN ALMOST TWO WEEKS SO THE CRAP IN MY BRAIN IS REALLY BACKING UP AND THIS POST IS GOING TO CONTAIN MORE RAMBLING, possibly incoherently, ABOUT ALL OF THOSE UNFINISHED THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOW RENDERING ME LESS EFFECTIVE. (Really, this is one of those moments when I hope no one is actively following or subscribing to this blog, because I can already tell it's going to be a hot mess. That's o.k. This is my diary, my therapy. It costs me nothing except the judgement from others. Go ahead, I'm rather used to it.)
  • First, let's back track a little so I can get my bearings.  The last time I posted I was having an emotional break down because my oldest is only six months away from starting high school. Sadly, that grieving process lasted longer than I'd like to admit. I'm sure to revisit those feelings in the months ahead, so let's move on. 
  • For the record, (to all my family and friends who don't "do" Facebook), we never received that second chance at a winter wonderland as promised by almost every meteorologist in this country. Our neck of the woods received even less wintry precip than the time before when I was able to capture my kids providing comic relief. Which is sad because my hubby was prepared and built our kids this sled so we could forgo the plastic & cardboard boxes. We did find a way to let them try it out, but it wasn't anything worthy of a full fledged fancy video.
  •  Last week, I started writing a really funny post that revolved around potty training my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I was going to state the obvious; that after successfully housebreaking two boys it was a completely different game trying to get the same results from the opposite sex. The entire process had me thinking about the fact that no where in any of those damn baby books I read did it ever tell me that once I became a mother, most of my existence would revolve around my children's bodily functions (mostly poop). In the last fourteen years of mommy-hood, I have dealt with & talked about poop more than I ever imagined I would have in my entire life. Then, THAT train of thought crashed right into the mystery of why children freak out when their mom needs to potty or bathe. I'll confess, I can remember wiggling my own tiny fingers under my parent's bathroom door, once upon a time. I'm even guilty of slipping notes to my mom while she tried to have a moment of privacy. (As if she were some cast away on a deserted island and I'd never see her again. At least she would have my letter to remember me by if she couldn't find her way across that threshold and back to us.) For the life of me, I can't explain the driving force behind my actions, so I don't even try to understand why my kids react as if I'm running away or about to fall into an endless abyss every time I close that restroom door. I simply accept it, kind of like gravity, it's just pointless to fight it.
  • Oh, I started to write a post about sibling rivalry... more poignantly

    about my two boys and THEIR sibling rivalry.  I'll have to revisit that topic at a later date, when I'm not tempted to document my out of the box solutions that I conjure up in my head. After all, there's no need to get CPS involved in the matter.
  • Then there was the broken tooth saga...MY broken tooth. It hurt. A lot. It happened over the weekend so my lovely dentist prescribed me antibiotics and pain meds to get me through. God bless him. That was an unexpected mini vacation to a floating cloud somewhere between here & semi-consciousness. Thank goodness I didn't decide to sit down in front of the computer this weekend. Woo Hoo!
  • The rest of my time away has been filled with just "STUFF".  I'm sure it was important mommy & wife "stuff", but I'm accustomed to everyone being tucked away into their own corners by 10:30pm so I can have my alone time. The time when I rid the DVR of MY shows (my reward for watching Sesame Street, Caillou & Curious George marathons all day). The time when I get to put my thoughts down on screen so they don't keep running on replay through my head. The time I spend freaking myself out by making To-Do lists... for the next four years. I really don't ask a lot from my family, most of the time. I just need the hours between 11pm - 2am to myself so I can recharge & be selfish.  
  • Now, I'm off to finalize my checklist for the Valentine's Day surprise I'm planning for the hubster. I'm sure that will be my next post... my revelation about the joy of giving with out expecting anything in return. OR, you never know, I guess it all depends on how the evening turns out. If things go awry, at least I can put that rope I found to good use. I'm resourceful that way. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Denial... It's not just a river in Egypt.

  • WARNING: What you are about to read are the ramblings of a distraught mother who is fighting tooth & nail to defeat the hands of time... (did I mention that I also have a couple of "drinks" in me, so this should make for an interesting read in the morning). Today, my oldest son (a 14 year old, 8th grader, attending the same school since Pre-K) came home carrying what he considered a trophy of sorts.
  • A sign to display in our yard that should declare to all that pass by that we are the proud parents of a young man on the verge of completing 10 years at St. Bernard School. A young man who is anxiously awaiting the next step...duh, duh, DUUUUUHHHH... High School!
  • To say that I am not handling this milestone well, would be a HUGE understatement. For example, at the moment, it feels like someone has completely ripped my heart from my chest & I'm finding it a little difficult to even breath. Over reacting you say? I can understand how some of you may think so. Perhaps once I explain how ill prepared I was for this moment, you will understand the condition I currently find myself in. In order to give my argument justice, I must start at the beginning... November 1999: I was 23 years old, a wife for all of 2 years & only 6 months pregnant when I delivered our first born, a son, weighing 2lbs, 5oz and 14 inches long. Not only was he a miracle, but also an adventure from the minute he entered this world. Thirteen weeks in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will make someone feel like they have almost earned the right to attach the initials M.D. at the end of the their name. Regardless of the accolades that I never received, the title I DID obtain was that of MOM. I was there every day in the NICU and I was home with him for the 3 months after he was released from the hospital before I had to return to the work force. The next two years found me with a full time job, then a hiatus to be a stay-at-home-mom once again before returning to work, at least part time for at least 3 more years. Finally landing a full time career at the school he was attending (my Alma matter) in the middle of his 1st grade year. Sadly, the next 6 years were sort of a blur because I became SO focused on my career that I seemingly forgot that I was there to make a living while being close to my most prized possessions... my children. Wow, what I wouldn't pay or sacrifice to have that time back. Admittedly, I lost focus on what mattered the most and too many years apparently just slipped by me. I AM grateful that I realized the err in my ways before it was too late & retired from my full time position in November of 2012 in order to fully dedicate myself to my family. Nevertheless, my early retirement does not restore those precious years that flew by while I burdened myself with deadlines and projects that were left incomplete by others. I realize that the hands of time would have dutifully moved forward regardless of my employment, but simply put... I'd like to have that time back. Hind sight is 20/20 and all that jazz, & I'd really appreciate a "do over" now that I know just how fast our children grow. There were so many words spoken that I'd like to take back and yet so many unspoken sentiments that I want to fill his ears with now. Remarkably, despite all of my regrets and misguided attempts to do "the right thing", our oldest has grown into an amazing human being. He is someone that I get to harbor for the next four years before I am forced to turn him loose into this wide world. It has been & will remain, an honor and privilege to call myself his parent. (Oh man, I REALLY hope that what I'm typing is making sense, because by now I'm sobbing so horribly that my eyes are almost swollen shut.) OK. Bottom line = Jackson, I thank the good Lord that He gave you to us. I have been blessed to be your Mom. I haven't always made the right decisions, but I did the best I could based on what I knew at the time. I hope one day you will understand that you are the being that created a mother where once only a girl stood. It won't ever matter how tall you are, how deep your voice becomes or how much hair grows all over your body... in my eyes you will forever be my little boy. The one I prayed for before you were ever conceived. The one I begged for while you were fighting for your survival and the one I continue to support and dream with until I take my last breath. I love you to the moon and back. You are exquisite and I wish I could keep you all to myself. The reason my heart breaks tonight, is the realization that you are quickly becoming your own amazing gift to the universe. I take solace in the fact that the world is a better place with you in it.
  • Click on this link to watch the short video that I created tonight of my big man Jackson:
  •  Clearly, it was an all around emotional evening for this momma hen who simply loves her baby chicks more than anything she could ever fathom. Honestly, the reality that they will leave this nest one day is frankly, a bitch... but I'll deal with THAT when I am forced to.